PREP TIME: 20 mins. COOK TIME: 40 - 60 mins. Servings: 4

Lemon, sage, fennel and basil pesto lift this classic rice dish to a fresh and light meal.


AP Basil Pesto

1 and 1/3 cup (250g) arborio risotto rice

(we prefer brown rice)

  1. Shallots, 4 finely chopped

  2. Small bulb of fennel, trimmed and chopped

Fresh Sage Leaves, handful

3. 5 cups (850ml) vegetable stock

White wine

Olive oil

Lemon Zest, finely grated half lemon, plus wedges to serve


1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.

2. Add shallots and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, stir in fennel, most of the lemon zest, and replace the lid to cook until shallots are soft and translucent.

3. Add the rice and stir to coat.

4. Add half the stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the stock has been absorbed. Add a good dash of white wine and simmer gently, stirring, until it has been absorbed by the rice. Add by a ladle stock and stir until it’s all been absorbed, and continue to add stock until rice is tender and turn heat down to allow to finish cooking.

(Don’t think you need to use all of the stock – you want creamy and al dente rice, not overdone. The risotto should be of a consistency that it can be poured out of the pan, but without excess liquid, so add stock as needed. If there is leftover stock, refrigerate.)

5. While the risotto is finishing cooking, heat olive oil in a small frying pan and add sage leaves a few at a time, and fry for a few seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

6. Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the rest of the grated lemon zest and pesto. Taste and season if needed.

7. Divide risotto between 4 shallow bowls and serve topped with crispy sage and lemon wedges on the side.